Posts Tagged new fire station in Rockford

Rockford Fire Department news

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A $1.6 million flip-flop has restored a Rockford firehouse turned vehicle repair shop back to Fire Station No. 7, and could improve response times to fire and medical emergencies.

The Rockford Fire Department facility, located at 2323 Sawyer Road on the city’s southeast side, operated as a fire station from 1978 until 1991, when the department converted it into a fire vehicle repair shop. Firefighting operations shifted to 4979 Falcon Road under an agreement with the Chicago-Rockford International Airport.

It is hoped that restoring the Sawyer Road facility as a fire station and moving the repair shop to Falcon Road will help the department reduce how long it takes firefighters to get to emergency calls. Fire Chief Derek Bergsten said that for years the Falcon Road station exceeded the departmental response time goal of having 90 percent of all response times take less than 8 minutes, 12 seconds from a resident dialing 911 to the arrival of firefighters.

Station No. 7 houses Engine Company 7, Medic 7, and a hazardous materials response team. Last year, Engine 7 responded to 1,760 calls for service and Medic 7 responded to 1,105 calls for service.

The restored station will have a workout facility for firefighters, separate washrooms and showers for men and women and a computer-training area.

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Rockford Fire Department news

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Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten says that response times have been an issue for Station 7 on the city’s south side for years. It’s why the station is moving north, from the airport  into the fire maintenance facility on sawyer road.

“The amount of calls in that area has been increasing, so us not meeting those service demands has definitely had an impact on patients and on fire and EMS calls,” said Bergsten.

According to the 2016 Standards of Cover Report, Station 7 had the worst emergency response performance out of all the city’s stations, taking more than eight minutes to respond to 18% of its EMS calls. That’s twice as long as the benchmark standard of four minutes.

The project’s been in the works for almost ten years, but finally moved forward when MercyHealth announced its new campus on Rockford’s east side. It’s a collaboration the chief says will benefit the community in more ways than one.

“To build a brand new station and fully staff it, the city did not have those funds. So, this was an agreement that was met with the city and mercy to take those funds for permit fees to recommission the station,” said Chief Bergsten.

Chief Bergsten says they expect to move into the new station by August 1.

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Rockford FD builds new station

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This weekend residents got the chance to tour the Rockford Fire Departments new station on the city’s southwest side. Firefighters say the hope behind the move is quicker response times. It’s been nearly 30 years since the department built one from the ground up.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve done an in-depth analysis and this is one area that needed a better response,” said Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten. “Further south and west of the city.”

Station #3 is currently located in a commercial area on South Main Street. But the widening of that road took away needed space for firefighters and their equipment. It was difficult for fire trucks to maneuver in and out of the building.

The station, now located in a residential area, gives community members a better sense of safety.

Station #3 hopes to be moved into the new facility in two and a half weeks.

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